NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity

Klaus Desmet, Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, Romain Wacziarg

NBER Working Paper No. 20989
Issued in February 2015
NBER Program(s):The Political Economy Program

We investigate the empirical relationship between ethnicity and culture, defined as a vector of traits reflecting norms, attitudes and preferences. Using surveys of individual values in 76 countries, we find that ethnic identity is a significant predictor of cultural values, yet that within-group variation in culture trumps between-group variation. Thus, in contrast to a commonly held view, ethnic and cultural diversity are unrelated. We explore the correlates of cultural diversity and of the overlap between culture and ethnicity, finding that the level of economic development is positively associated with cultural diversity and negatively associated with the overlap between culture and ethnicity. Finally, although only a small portion of a country's overall cultural heterogeneity occurs between groups, this does not imply that cultural differences between groups are irrelevant. Indeed, we find that civil conflict becomes more likely when there is greater overlap between ethnicity and culture.

download in pdf format
   (1029 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20989

Published: Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2017. "Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity," American Economic Review, vol 107(9), pages 2479-2513. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Spolaore and Wacziarg w21242 Ancestry, Language and Culture
Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales w20967 Corporate Culture, Societal Culture, and Institutions
Strebulaev and Yang w17946 The Mystery of Zero-Leverage Firms
Dhar, Jain, and Jayachandran w21429 Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Attitudes: Evidence from India
Alesina, Devleeschauwer, Easterly, Kurlat, and Wacziarg w9411 Fractionalization
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us